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Daniel 5:5

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 95

Verse 5

No flashes of supernatural light, nor deafening peals of thunder, announced the interference of God in their impious revelries. A hand silently appeared, tracing mystic characters upon the wall. It wrote over against the candlestick. In the light of their own lamp they saw it. Terror seized upon the king; for his conscience accused him. Although he could not read the writing, he knew it was no message of peace and blessing that was traced in glittering characters upon his palace wall. And the description the prophet gives of the effect of the king’s fear cannot be excelled in any particular. The king’s countenance was changed, his heart failed him, pain seized upon him, and so violent was his trembling that his knees smote one against another. He forgot his boasting and revelry; he forgot his dignity; and he cried aloud for his astrologers and soothsayers to solve the meaning of the terrible apparition.DAR 95.3

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Belshazzar bade defiance to the judgments of God. Most historians consider that Cyrus then besieged Babylon. Security and sensuality are sad proofs of approaching ruin. That mirth is sinful indeed, which profanes sacred things; and what are many of the songs used at modern feasts better than the praises sung by the heathens to their gods! See how God struck terror upon Belshazzar and his lords. God's written word is enough to put the proudest, boldest sinner in a fright. What we see of God, the part of the hand that writes in the book of the creatures, and in the book of the Scriptures, should fill us with awful thoughts concerning that part which we do not see. If this be the finger of God, what is his arm when made bare? And what is He? The king's guilty conscience told him that he had no reason to expect any good news from heaven. God can, in a moment, make the heart of the stoutest sinner to tremble; and there needs no more than to let loose his own thoughts upon him; they will give him trouble enough. No bodily pain can equal the inward agony which sometimes seizes the sinner in the midst of mirth, carnal pleasures, and worldly pomp. Sometimes terrors cause a man to flee to Christ for pardon and peace; but many cry out for fear of wrath, who are not humbled for their sins, and who seek relief by lying vanities. The ignorance and uncertainty concerning the Holy Scriptures, shown by many who call themselves wise, only tend to drive sinners to despair, as the ignorance of these wise men did.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Fingers of a man's hand - The fingers were collected about the style or pen as in the act of writing.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 154.2

You have a work to do for your soul that no one else can do for you. Your course of error and wrong has been the means of helping others in the same direction. You were never alone. The same hand that traced the characters over against the wall of Belshazzar's palace was registering in the books of heaven the deeds and words that made Christ ashamed of you. You had no respectful courtesy for those whom you should have treated with respect and to whose wants you should have been attentive. These unholy things unfitted you to do the work of the Lord; but in your unholy hands you took your Bible and led the worship, and as mouthpiece for God you were foremost to preach to the people. Where was your conscience? Where was your humility? Where was your fear of God? Where was your faithful work to keep the Health Retreat up to the highest standard?—Letter 16, 1888 (written April 30, 1888). TSB 154.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 244

A house divided against itself cannot stand. When Christians contend, Satan comes in to take control. How often has he succeeded in destroying the peace and harmony of churches. What fierce controversies, what bitterness, what hatred, has a very little matter started! What hopes have been blasted, how many families have been rent asunder by discord and contention! 5T 244.1

Paul charged his brethren to beware lest in trying to correct the faults of others they should commit sins equally great themselves. He warns them that hatred, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, and envyings are as truly the works of the flesh as are lasciviousness, adultery, drunkenness, and murder, and will as surely close the gate of heaven against the guilty. 5T 244.2

Christ declares: “Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Whoever by willful deception or by a wrong example misleads a disciple of Christ is guilty of a great sin. Whoever would make him an object of slander or ridicule is insulting Jesus. Our Saviour marks every wrong done to His followers. 5T 244.3

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 259

To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self's sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11, 12. COL 259.1

Wherefore He says, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” COL 259.2

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 110

As men multiplied upon the earth after the Flood, they again forgot God and corrupted their ways before Him. Intemperance in every form increased, until almost the whole world was given up to its sway. Entire cities have been swept from the face of the earth because of the debasing crimes and revolting iniquity that made them a blot upon the fair field of God's created works. The gratification of unnatural appetite led to the sins that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God ascribes the fall of Babylon to her gluttony and drunkenness. Indulgence of appetite and passion was the foundation of all their sins. CH 110.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 522-38

This chapter is based on Daniel 5.

Toward the close of Daniel's life great changes were taking place in the land to which, over threescore years before, he and his Hebrew companions had been carried captive. Nebuchadnezzar, “the terrible of the nations” (Ezekiel 28:7), had died, and Babylon, “the praise of the whole earth” (Jeremiah 51:41), had passed under the unwise rule of his successors, and gradual but sure dissolution was resulting. PK 522.1

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